Christmas tree warning over pets ingesting pine needles – ‘precautions need to be taken’

Christmas tree: Expert shares advice on caring for trees

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A Christmas tree is one of the most traditional aspects of the festive holidays. Some households have fake trees which can be stored throughout the year, while others prefer real trees. For homeowners who have opted for a real tree this year, an expert from flower delivery site, Flying Flowers, has warned them to watch out for pine needles if they have pets.

Pets are, naturally, going to be curious of Christmas trees in the home.

They might want to touch it, taste it or even attempt to climb it.

However, pine needles can pose a serious risk to pet’s health.

If ingested by your pet it could penetrate their tongue, mouth, or even intestine, leading to an emergency visit to the vets – an expensive trip over the Christmas season.

To avoid this, Sandra from Flying Flowers explained that there are certain steps pet-owners can take.

She said: “Real trees are well-known for how easily they shed their needles.

“Make sure you’re keeping on top of the hoovering, to prevent your furry friends from picking up the inevitable fallen needles.

“You should also consider putting your tree in an area of the house that is gated from then when you’re not around.

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“This shouldn’t put pet owners off housing a real tree over Christmas.

“As long as the proper precautions are taken it should be no danger to your animals.”

Another potentially dangerous aspect of a Christmas tree for pets is their preservatives.

Christmas trees will have a dish at the base of them that’s filled with water.

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To make the tree last longer, some homeowners will put preservatives in the water.

Pets can often find the water dish a temptation, especially if it’s forbidden.

Tree preservatives can cause an upset stomach in both cats and dogs if ingested.

The best way to avoid this happening is to keep the dish covered.

A Christmas tree skirt is also a great way to deter a pet’s attention away from the base of the tree.

Christmas tree skirts are relatively inexpensive with Wilko selling a version for £9 and Argos for £18.

John Lewis also sell one for £24.50 and Amazon sells one for just £16.99.

Fairy lights can also be a temptation for animals, but if they chew them, this could lead to an electric shock.

Instead, ensure they are turned off when you are not in the room.

A pet gate for rooms with lots of wires may be advisable.

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